Instead of throwing away eggshells after breakfast, try saving them for these incredible uses.

Put eggshells to work all around the house
Maybe it’s just good old-fashioned thriftiness, but it falls on us all to take a second look at things we might have otherwise thrown away. With this in mind, we’ve collected a few handy household uses for that staple of garbage bins everywhere: the eggshell. 

Use eggshells to fertilise the garden
How does your garden grow? What if we told you it could grow even better with some help from your breakfast leavings? 

Rinse and remove the clear inner membrane of eggshells, then store the dry eggshells in a large, secure container. (We promise it won’t stink.) Mash them down to fine bits with a steel or wooden spoon. Once the spring temperatures soften the soil, you can sprinkle and mix the ground eggshells into your garden for a great source of calcium carbonate for the soil. An added bonus – they reduce soil acidity. Here are 7 more surprising fertilisers for the garden.  

Use eggshells to clear your complexion
Drop an eggshell into a small container of apple cider vinegar and let it soak for a couple of days. Dab the mixture on minor skin irritations or on itchy skin. Here are 12 myths about apple cider vinegar you should stop believing right now. 

Use eggshells as a non-toxic abrasive cleaner
You vowed to steer clear of powdered household and industrial cleaners, but what are you going to use in lieu of those harsh chemicals? We spotted a non-toxic and gentle-on-your-nose cleaner on

Firstly, collect the eggshells of about a dozen eggs. Once you’re ready to prepare the cleaner, wash the eggshells and line them up on a baking sheet. Dry the shells outside in the sun or on low heat in the oven for a few minutes. Use a mortar and pestle, coffee grinder or high-speed blender to blend the eggshells into a fine paste. You should have about 1 cup of powdered shell. In a mason jar, add 3 cups baking soda to the eggshell powder. To clean, just mix the powder with vinegar (or water). Use this formula on pots and pans (with baked-on food), shower doors (with months of gunk), toilet bowl rings and grout. Check out 11 more extraordinary uses for ordinary household items. 

Use eggshells to start a herb garden
Do you often daydream about getting your garden started during the dog days of winter? This easy eggshell hack can bring you one step closer to making that dream a reality.

The next time you’re cracking an egg, cut the top of the shell and pour the egg out of the shell to preserve most of the length of the eggshell. Gently rinse before storing. Remember to save the egg carton – this is where your herb starter plants will grow. Once the shells have dried, use a sharp needle or awl to poke a hole in the bottom of each (for water drainage). Place an eggshell in each carton divot. Fill each most of the way with soil. Place seeds into soil, according to seed-sowing instructions. Mist soil with spray bottle and keep carton in full sun. Water regularly and keep an eye out for sprouts. Once it’s time to transfer into a pot or garden, you can transplant as-is. 

Use eggshells to separate egg whites from yolks
Don’t be fooled by the gadgets you see at the store. The best way to separate egg whites from yolks is to use a good old-fashioned eggshell. Crack an egg in half and slowly pour the white into a bowl. Once the white starts tugging at the yolk, use the jagged side of the eggshell to separate the white. Confused by all the negative health reports about eating eggs? Here are 10 'facts' about eggs that are an absolute yolk!

Use eggshells to clean a reusable coffee flask
If you’re an avid coffee drinker, you’re probably no stranger to the dreaded brown film that forms on the inside of your favourite thermal flask. No matter how hard you scrub, there’s no diminishing the patina. That’s where eggshells come in handy. Add a combination of hot water and crushed eggshells about a third of the way. Close the flask and shake well for a few minutes. The mixture should help break down stains.

Use eggshells to make DIY sidewalk chalk
Need to come up with something to keep the wee ones occupied? Why not try your hand at homemade sidewalk chalk with this recipe from The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. The main ingredients are eggshells, flour and food colouring. We can promise it will be fun – but we can’t promise it won’t be messy. Speaking of kids and their messes, here are some domestic hacks to help cut down time cleaning up after them.

Add eggshells to coffee grounds to mellow the brew
If your partner complains about the coffee being too bitter – but you still have a kilogram of coffee in the pantry – use this tried-and-true hack. Mix in a crumbled eggshell (that has been thoroughly rinsed in vinegar and then water, and dried) to the coffee grounds tomorrow morning. The eggshells, rich in alkaline calcium carbonate, help neutralise some of the coffee’s acidity. 

Feed eggshells to the birds
You can also be an incredible neighbour to your feathered friends with this great tip from Birds and Blooms: when you have enough eggshells to cover a baking tray, bake them at around 120 degrees Celsius until dry. They will be brittle enough to crush easily. Spread the mixture in a feeder or on the ground for birds to munch on. It’s a great source of calcium for the birds – especially for females during the spring, which is prime time for laying eggs.  

Use eggshells to brighten your complexion 
Eggs may be the secret to restoring your skin’s youthful glow. Using a mortar and pestle, grind down a few eggshells until they reach a powder-like state. Next, mix the powder with egg whites. Gently spread the mixture onto your skin and allow it to dry. Wash thoroughly.

Use eggshells to clean up the sink
Most people want their kitchen sink strainer to be spotless – but you may want to consider keeping a few loose eggshells down there while you wash up. The eggshell pieces will help prevent food solids from going down the drain, and as the egg starts to break down, it acts as a natural abrasive to help clean drain pipes. Brilliant! Check out these 16 other clever house cleaning hacks the professionals use. 

Use eggshells to fortify your pooch
Crushed eggshells are an excellent way to add extra calcium to your dog’s diet. Try this tip: Spread clean eggshells over a baking sheet and bake in a 120-degree Celsius oven for about 30 minutes. Transfer to a sealable plastic bag, seal and crush the shells with a rolling pin until they are a fine powder. Sprinkle this over your dog’s food. The extra calcium boost can help strengthen Fido’s bones and teeth. Though eggshells are non-toxic, be sure to check out these common backyard dangers for pets.

Use eggshells to deter garden pests
Eggshells work wonders for your garden plants, but they can also repel pests, too. Gather crushed eggshells and scatter them around your soil. This works as a natural deterrent for slugs and snails. 

Use eggshells as “paint bombs” for original artwork
Paint-filled eggshells can help make the Pollock-esque painting of your dreams. (Or, at least, be the beginning of a fun activity for you and the kids.) Collect eggshells that are mostly intact – the leftovers from your soft-boiled eggs work great. Rinse and dry. Carefully fill each with coloured paint, grab a large blank canvas and head outdoors. Grab a friend and take turns throwing the eggs at the canvas to create one-of-a-kind artwork. Trust us, you’re going to want to put this one on your bucket list.

This article first appeared on Reader's Digest